Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ash-throated Flycatcher Sept 12 2014 Boundary Bay Delta Heritage Air Park

The last time I saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Canada was Oct. 23, 2004.  This was across from the turf farm on 72 Ave. Delta and before that Dec. 19, 2000 at Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  So to hear that one was found by Nick Balachoff in Delta again, Dian and I had to try for it.  We joined 6-7 other birders around 10:30 AM and someone spotted it shortly after.  It flew in and immediately captured a dragonfly, giving everyone present great views.  Following are some shots;

The juggler

Caught it

Now to align it

Head first

How do I get those wings in?

Slowly ease them in.

Start gulping. 
Is that a Buuurrpp or a smile?  It was so full it just sat there and let everyone have a good look.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Hope, Bc Airport and other Various Locations Aug 20-Sept.12 2014

Following are some pictures taken in the last few weeks at various locations and a trip to Hope airport.  An Upland Sandpiper and Clay-colored Sparrow were a couple of nice surprises.
Young male Yellow-headed Blackbird Harrison.  The gape indicates a young bird.  It was alone and migrating all by itself.  One wonders how it knows where to go.
Young Ring-billed Gull Harrison
Common Merganser female Harrison
Horned Lark Hemlock
American Pipit Hemlock
Vesper Sparrow Harrison
Western Wood Pewee Cheam
A family of Sooty Grouse was on the side of the road on the way to Hemlock.  They were quite well hidden but managed to capture this young one.  
A pair of Coyotes at the Great Blue Heron Reserve at Chilliwack resting before the evening hunt.
Savannah Sparrows at Harrison
Close-up of Horned Lark's horns.
Horned Lark at Harrison
Sept 12 we decided to see what was at the airport in Hope.  The following is what we found.

Gray Catbird was chomping down on berries and mewing in delight.
A Clay-colored Sparrow popped up on to the fence.  North side, east of terminal.
On the north side of the runway, just west of the terminal, we found this Upland Sandpiper.
The tall grass was making it difficult to spot.
Following is a complete checklist of birds seen at Hope Airport and sewage lagoon.

Hope airport and sewage lagoon, Fraser Valley, CA-BC
Sep 12, 2014 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
24 species

Canada Goose  X
Wood Duck  X
American Wigeon  X
Mallard  X
Lesser Scaup  4     Seen in a pond by sewage lagoons.  Peaked head and no white around bill to confuse with Ring-necked Ducks.
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  1
Northern Harrier  1
American Coot  4
Upland Sandpiper  1    
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
Merlin  1
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Northwestern Crow  2
Common Raven  1
Horned Lark  4
Black-capped Chickadee  6
American Robin  X
Gray Catbird  1
Clay-colored Sparrow  1    
Song Sparrow  2
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco  1
American Goldfinch  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Harrison Hotsprings, BC Birding Sept 3 2014

Harrison was quite birdy today.  I saw a Sandpiper that I couldn't definitely identify.   Thanks to everyone who responded and verified it as a Least Sandpiper.  Here are some of the birds I saw.  A complete list is at the bottom.

Rear view of mystery Sandpiper
Primaries to end of tail, short droopy bill, olive-yellow legs, hint of rufous cap

I have had quite a few people say Least Sandpiper and they may be right.  The bird looked too big to be a Least but I was mistaken.  
Here is a Least taken Aug 22 at Harrison.  One is a fresh juvenile and the other a post breeding adult.
Red-necked Phalarope
American Pipit
Horned Lark
Horned Lark
Orange-crowned Warbler
Vesper Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Harrison Hot Springs--beach, Fraser Valley, CA-BC

Sep 3, 2014 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Protocol: Traveling

1.0 mile(s)

19 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  2

Mallard  2

Common Merganser  7

Pied-billed Grebe  1

Great Blue Heron  1

American Coot  2

Least Sandpiper  2
gull sp.  X
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Merlin  1
Horned Lark  9
Barn Swallow  X
American Pipit  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Yellow Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
Vesper Sparrow  2
Savannah Sparrow  X     50+

House Sparrow  X

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Iona Sewage Ponds and South Jetty Sept. 1 2014

The title doesn't sound very inviting but during migration periods this area is a fabulous place to bird. The sewage plant processes the effluent for Vancouver and vicinity.  The bugs in the settling ponds attract a myriad of birds. A manmade jetty contains a pipe which carries the treated effluent 2.5 miles out into the Salish Sea-a body of water separating Vancouver Island from the lower Mainland.  This jetty provides a rest area for many migrating birds.  The trick is to be there when the birds are there.  Reports of a Wandering Tattler sent us there today and we walked the 5 mile round trip to find it.  Biking is the best way to explore the jetty.
The route we took.

To enter the sewage lagoon area one must enter a security code and pass through a gate.
One of the setting ponds.
The mighty Fraser River enters the ocean beside the ponds.  The shores are lined with rafts of logs waiting to be hauled to mills or sent to foreign countries.
The perimeter of the ponds provides walking areas and the birds forage on the settling sewage remnants.
Pectoral Sandpipers love this stuff.  
Pectoral Sandpipers
A view from the ocean side looking towards the jetty.
The jetty provides a trail for all types of physical activity.  It is also directly under the approach to the Vancouver airport.
Airplanes are constantly coming and going from every corner of the globe.
Western Sandpipers are one of the species utilizing the jetty as a rest stop.
The tip of the jetty looking towards Vancouver Island.
A few Spotted Sandpipers were found along the jetty edge.
The end of the jetty.  As usual, if you want to find a rare bird look for the birders.
The Wandering Tattler.  It was almost at the tip of the jetty.  We met a few birders on our way up who were returning and they could not locate it.  Perhaps because it was just resting in a secluded spot.   Dian spotted it here in the seaweed.
It was finding some type of crustacean.
Perhaps a sea louse??

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